Thursday, August 17, 2006

Minds And Hearts

And like a good neighbor. LATimes (08.17.06):
"Days after guns fell silent, Hezbollah has emerged as the lead player in the cleanup of towns and villages in southern Lebanon." Trading Guns for Bulldozers
"Nowhere across this blasted, pitted landscape is there any sign of the Lebanese government, or its authority." As the government was bitching they were "expected to clear shattered towns with nothing but shovels and a few bulldozers, Hezbollah already owns or is in the process of renting the required machinery." Here's another example. "(A) Hezbollah member in a Firestone cap moved through the streets Wednesday with a video camera to record the condition of each of the town's 700 houses. His survey divided them into buildings that had been destroyed and those with limited damage; he said Hezbollah construction officials would decide whether to fix or rebuild each house." Here's another example. "Those factors present a serious challenge to the central government in Beirut and the Bush administration, which is scrambling to launch its own rebuilding effort and deny Hezbollah a public relations dividend." Really. Boy, bet the Administration's plan (assuming they ever do come up with one) will be a real beauty, eh? "'The guys come out after the war and they are not smiling, not sad, not tired, just determined,' says Dr. Martial Ledecq, a Belgian serving in southern Lebanon with Doctors Without Borders. 'Even the doctors are Hezbollah.'" "'If you call them at midnight, they come out to help. They are the government.'" And that, friends, is how you win hearts and minds. Not glamorous, not complicated, just effective. Very, very effective.


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